Supreme Court Extends MAACS Regional Pilot Project

In the October 2015 Criminal Defense Newsletter (Volume 39, Issue 1), MAACS Administrator Bradley R. Hall reported on MAACS’s then-new partnership with fourteen circuit courts and the creation of the MAACS Regional Pilot Project. These courts were grouped into two regions – the Eastern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula Regions – as part of a larger plan to standardize the courts’ attorney fee policies, consolidate their assignment lists by region, and transfer some administrative responsibilities from the courts to MAACS.

In its first year, the Regional Pilot Project has been a tremendous success. Court staff from all fourteen participating courts report that they are very satisfied with the assignment process and the overall fairness and reasonableness of the fee policy. Court staff also report high satisfaction with the new vouchering process under the Regional Pilot Project and appreciate that vouchers are reviewed by MAACS staff for technical accuracy before being submitted to the courts for payment.

MAACS is now pleased to report that, on September 21, 2016, the Supreme Court approved an extension of the Regional Pilot Project through December 31, 2017. The Court’s extension order represents a vote of confidence in the Regional Pilot Project, and MAACS staff is currently working with several trial courts around the state in an effort to expand the pilot and fee policy into new circuits and regions.

by:  Kathy Swedlow
MAACS Deputy Administrator